New programs slated for Forestville students

Members of the Forestville Board of Education watched a video presentation about the upcoming “Hang Up and Drive” event that all junior and senior students in the county will be attending at the Reg Lenna Civic Center in Jamestown.

FORESTVILLE — The Forestville Central School Board of Education recently held their first meeting of the new school year. Superintendent Renee Garrett shared two potentially life-changing student programs with the board that will be taking place this fall.

Eric Williams, a representative from Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC), began the meeting with a presentation about “Too Good.” The evidence-based preventative, intervention and awareness programs will be implemented in all grade levels. Garrett explained, “The goal of the initiative is to focus on helping our students understand the importance of healthy behaviors and life skills. It is through these programs our students will be encouraged to maintain safe and drug-free lives.”

Williams explained that presenters from CASAC will be entering classrooms with age-appropriate information that is tailored to meet the needs of each grade level. Students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade will have eight sessions of “Too Good” and ninth grade students will have 1 session of “SPORT” (prevention plus wellness). Tenth grade students will have eight sessions of “Too Good” and 11th and 12th grade students will all have six sessions of “Life Skills Transitions.”

“CASAC provides so many important services to our community,” said Garrett. “These programs will strengthen our already existing programs and help students to make good choices. We are a proud partner with CASAC and look forward to the results of these programs!”

Following Williams’ presentation, Board President Carol Woodward recognized the newest additions to the district’s faculty and staff. Elementary School Principal Lindsay Marcinelli introduced new Pre-K teacher Mrs. Devine and new special education (third and fourth grade) teacher Mrs. Szumigala. High School Principal Daniel Grande introduced Miss Marsh, the new high school math teacher. Terry Brown, cafeteria supervisor, introduced Stacey Kulpa, who is the new cook. “Everybody says she’s a winner, and I’m glad to have her aboard,” said Brown of Kulpa, a FCS alumna.

Both Marcinelli and Grande commented on the deep cleaning that had taken place at the both schools during the summer, and were overall very pleased with the start of the school year last Tuesday. According to Grande, the beginning of the year bell-ringing ceremony had a very festive atmosphere that was enhanced by the senior class president’s enjoyable speech.

Grande and Garrett introduced the “Hang Up and Drive” presentations sponsored by Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson at the Reg Lenna Civic Center. Garrett shared a video about “Hang Up and Drive,” which featured speaker Jacy Good, whose parents both lost their lives to a distracted driver in the same car accident that also left Good partially paralyzed. The video interviewed multiple students about their driving habits, which often include talking, texting, making “Snaps” and posting to social media.

After the emotional video presentation, Grande said, “Our hope is that our young drivers will walk away with a new attitude about their responsibility behind the wheel.” Garrett agreed, and stated, “We feel strongly this is something our students should see.”

On Sept. 18 all seniors and on Sept. 19 all juniors from the 18 school districts in the county will be traveling to the Reg Lenna to attend the live presentation by Good and her husband, Steve Johnson. Garrett said, “We are so thankful to Patrick Swanson, Esq., Chautauqua County district attorney, for bringing this program to our region. It is through this effort we are able to bring attention to such an important topic. There is no way to measure all of the lives that will be saved as a result of our students participating in this program. We are so grateful for the message that Jacy and Steve bring to our students.” Woodward and other board members voiced their strong support of the presentation and look forward to the impact it will hopefully have.

Woodward announced that the middle/high school Open House night is taking place on Sept. 20 and that the board plans to have a presence there. She then turned the meeting over to the Staff Recognition committee who were pleased to recognize two of the district’s most hard-working individuals who also happen to be a great team: Garrett and June Prince, district clerk and secretary to the superintendent. Although Prince was not able to attend the meeting, Garrett warmly accepted a beautiful bouquet on her behalf and embraced the committee members and the board.